Not only has esports overall increased in recent years, but its popularity on mobile platforms has skyrocketed.
Veli-Pekka Piirainen is on stage to discuss the current state and future of esports as part of Pocket Gamer Connects Helsinki Digital, CEO of Critical Force, and founder and chairman.
Today, China and Southeast Asia are leading mobile esports and are the most profitable sectors in China. One of the largest companies in the field of esports is Tencent. China’s tech giant has several games such as PUBG Mobile and Honor of Kings in the highly competitive gaming market.
Increasing esports and mobile usage around the world will be a major driver of growth in the digital gaming market over the next five years. One of the reasons is that access to mobile devices is much easier.
Already, mobile game revenue is higher than PC and console revenue. This number is expected to increase as the mobile gaming market continues to grow in key areas such as Southeast Asia, Europe and North America.
Super Evil Megacorp’s Vaing Glory proved to be a pioneer in mobile esports released in 2014, with a $ 175,000 prize pool for the 2016 World Championships.
Last year, the most popular mobile esports games were PUBG Mobile, Mobile Legends, Clash Royale, Freefire, and Arena of Valor.
Supercell’s Clash Royale has a prize pool of up to $ 400,000, p[roven extremely popular since its launch in 2016. Next, Mobile Legends, which was also released in 2016, has prize pools worth up to $300,000 and is especially popular in South East Asia.
Free Fire by Garena is another popular esports title, having hit 500 million downloads this year. The battle royale has tournaments that are worth up to $400,000. It is well-liked within the Asian regions. Fellow battle royale, PUBG Mobile, has prizes up to a staggering $600,000 and has smashed through 600 million downloads worldwide. It came to mobile devices back in 2018.
Finally, a second, Tencent title, Arena of Valor, also known as Honor of Kings, has a prize pool of up to $600,000 and is popular in South East Asia and China. So far, it has racked up more than 200 million downloads.
While the above games may be a dominant force within the esports scene, Brawl Stars is on the rise, as was Fortnite before it was removed from the App Store. Of course, Call of Duty mobile is an esports challenger, as is the upcoming League of Legends Wild Rift.
“Mobile esports will mainstream esports. Mobile reaches a larger and more diverse audience than PC and Console Games,” said Piirainen.
Mobile esports will overtake PC esports within the next five years. Moreover, it will benefit from industrial stability.
Pocket Gamer Connects Helsinki Digital is the best of our Pocket Gamer Connects conference in an online form, with an entire week of talks, meetings, and pitch events taking place from September 14th to the 18th. You can read up on all the tracks taking place throughout the week here.